Prong collars look scary, but they can be very helpful in training your pup. Let us look at what age can you use a prong collar on a puppy and other questions related to it.
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Many trainers use prong collars to train their dogs. They find it the best way to train any dogs quickly and efficiently, whether large or small. So much, so that prong collars are also called training collars.
But when you look at a prong collar for the first time, your obvious reaction is that it is inhumane to let a dog wear one. So then, at what age can you use a prong collar on a puppy? Most trainers advise using a prong collar when your puppy is at least four months old.
Contrary to what you might think, prong collars are not inhumane at all and do not hurt your dog. Many people do not know how to fit prong collars properly, which is what sometimes might cause harm to a dog. Using prong collars is safe if you know how to use them correctly.
People who use prong collars should make sure it does not cause pain or choke dogs in any way.
In this article, we will look at
- What is a prong collar, and how does it work?
- How can you use a prong collar properly?
- How do prong collars help in training and communicating with your dog?
- Why you should use prong collars on your puppy
- When should you not use them?
- Alternatives to prong collars
What Is a Prong Collar?
Prong collars are metal collars with a chain having dull and angled protrusions. Prong collars are designed to pinch the puppy’s neck lightly to tell them that they are doing something wrong.
Do You Know How a Mother Corrects Their Pups?
When puppies do something that is not acceptable, their mother bites them at the back of their neck. Though they do not harm them physically, you can hear them cry a bit.
A prong collar does the same thing.
Of course, you need to remember that the mother has had millennia of evolution to teach her how to pinch the pup without hurting it, but you as a human have to be careful when you are using a prong collar.
Remember, if you need to use a couple of fingers to hold the pup back with a prong collar, you are doing something wrong. When you use a prong collar properly, puppies won’t find any discomfort.
At What Age Can You Use A Prong Collar On A Puppy?
Most dog trainers advise using prong collars for four to six-month-old puppies. This is because, by this age, they get stronger, and even if you pull them using a prong collar, it may not hurt them as much.
Using the correct size of a prong collar for your dog is also essential. You need to know the right fit for your puppy and fit the collar carefully. Otherwise, it can seriously harm your dog’s trachea and delicate skin. It may sink into your dog’s skin when it strains against the leash.
Why Use a Prong Collar?
Almost all dog owners would want their dogs to enjoy their life. But to make them truly enjoy life, you need to set some rules and train them first. It will not take a long time and will result in gaining full control of your dog and let him enjoy freedom.
When you and your dog have understanding and trust among each other, you can take him anywhere without using a leash. You can even take your dog to the park and let it play with other humans!
How To Use a Prong Collar?
One of the first things we learn in driving is controlling the car and keeping it safe. The same goes with prong collars. To use prong collars properly, it is essential to know their design and how to use them. Nowadays, prong collars come in different styles and designs. You need to know how to use it correctly, and it will be helpful for almost any dog.
How Do You Train a Dog With a Prong Collar?
So now you may have some idea of how a prong collar works and how to fit it properly. Let us now look at how to put a prong collar gently without causing pain to your dog.
Here are the steps that will help you train your dog using a prong collar. When you use it effectively, it is the best training tool.
#1 Introduce your puppy to a prong collar
Introducing your pup to a prong collar is the essential step when you start training your puppy with it. Most people make the mistake of putting the collar on their pup and then walking too quickly.
This may frighten your pup. It would help if you made your pup learn that there is nothing to fear. In a few days, they will start to get excited when you bring the prong collar out. You may find them sitting patiently and wagging their tail as you put on the collar.
Instead, introduce the prong collar in the following way:
- First, treat them to some tasty food they like. Most pups love having chicken slices, and they are healthy too. It is the best way to motivate dogs before training. You can also give them any type of steak they may like.
- Take your puppy to someplace where he is comfortable. Show the prong collar to them. When the dog looks at the collar, motivate him and say something good and upbeat. Keep talking to them and making them feel comfortable. Hopefully, your dog will touch the collar using his paws.
- If your dog is still scared, you need to praise him more. Be patient. Before using a prong collar, make sure your dog is comfortable with it.
Once your pup has been introduced with a prong collar with love, praise, and happiness, we will go to the next step.
#2 Put on the prong collar
So now your puppy likes the prong collar; it will be easy for you to put it on. You need to take the prong collar and show it to your dog. Place it around your dog’s neck and attach it.
You can even let it be a little loose or tight; for now, just focus on getting the pup comfortable with the collar. It will be ok as long as it does not cause any pain.
Most of the dogs start scratching their necks when you put on the collar for the first time. So if your dog is comfortable and it does not hurt him, keep putting the collar on and off and reward him every time for a few days.
#3 Get the correct size prong collar for your dog
By now, your dog will have acclimatized itself with a prong collar. They would be happy and comfortable having a prong collar around their neck. Now you need to get the right fit. Watch the video below on how to choose the right size for a prong collar.
If the prong collar is too big for your dog, you will have to remove some of the prongs until it is a snug fit. Make sure the collar gets properly fit around the dog’s neck behind his ears.
I find it better to keep the chain in front of the neck. By doing this, if you have prongs around the dog’s neck, it won’t hurt his throat.
To get a proper fit, you need to know when it is appropriate to use it. Many times dogs perfectly behave while wearing prong collars, but when you remove the collar, they may get back to behaving poorly.
This is because your dog may not be desensitized to the collar. It is essential to desensitize your dog when using a prong collar for training.
#4 How to desensitize your dog using a prong collar?
What you can do is put the collar on and remove it randomly, often throughout the day. Even if the dog does not feel comfortable wearing the collar, you can associate putting the collar when you feed him food. It would help if you made him forget about the prong collar. So when you want to correct anything, your dog will understand that you are doing it and has nothing to do with the collar.
We need to spend a lot of time and associate the dog with a prong collar with a lot of fun in the initial stage. But this is done just to introduce him to a prong collar.
Now put the collar around the dog’s neck at least 20 minutes before training. Similarly, please wait for 20 minutes before taking it off.
#5 Teach your dogs all the rules
Now that your dog is completely fine wearing a prong collar use it only when appropriate. You will have to make your dog understand certain corrections when he takes action.
Please don’t make him feel powerless or confused when you correct him. Make your dog feel confident and make him understand what you expect from him. You have to communicate with them and not punish them.
When your dog is clear with the rules and knows what causes correction and how he can avoid it, it makes it easy to communicate with your dog and make him understand quickly.
In a very short period, you will be able to train your dog, and you can remove the prong collar completely as well. Prong collars are not to be used lifelong. Once you train and communicate basic rules, you can remove them completely.
So What Is the Right Fit?
People who are new to using a prong collar may keep the collar too loose. If you want the collar to work properly, you need to get the right fit. If not fitted properly, it may cause pressure around the dog’s neck and cause them discomfort.
So to get the right fit, you need to tighten it equally around the neck. This helps reduce discomfort around the dog’s neck. Also, if the collar is fitted properly, it won’t slip from the dog’s neck. And if it slips, it means it is way too loose and may harm your dog.
It is essential to get a proper fit and secure a prong collar. When you use it incorrectly, it may cause your dog a bit of discomfort and may even cause internal injuries. Many people have thought of keeping prong collars loose and don’t find it right to tighten them around the neck. But this is not the correct way at all. This way, they do more harm and cause discomfort to their dogs. Using prong collars is a very useful and effective way to train dogs of almost any breed.
Things You Need To Know About Prong Collars and Your Puppy
Don’t judge a prong collar by its design.
A prong collar may not look pretty, and most people do not like its design. But prong collars are very useful when you train your puppies. It helps communicate with them well. Prong collars do not hurt your dogs if you fit them properly. It puts even pressure around your dog’s neck and does not cause pain to the trachea if properly used.
A prong collar has its pros and cons. But many dog owners find their dog’s leash reactive. Because of this, they avoid taking them for walks. And if you don’t take them out for a walk regularly, they may react differently at home. Like they may bark a lot or jump. This creates bad behavior among them and needs to be corrected immediately. This makes it essential to learn how to fit prong collars properly.
You must fit prong collars correctly.
Make sure to fit the prong collar properly and should not be too tight or too loose. You should place it right below the ears. Keeping it higher will make you communicate with your dog properly.
Though some people find using prong collars bad and inhumane, which is not.
They are not meant to hurt.
Like many different tools available in the market, prong collars are often misunderstood. It is not used to pull your dog. You should use it to pinch your dog and communicate with them quickly.
But please do not use it to discipline them. It is used only for training purposes and should not be worn the whole day. The only time you should make your dog wear a prong collar is while training them or taking them for a walk.
Don’t worry about others judging you.
Some other dog owners might stare at you when using a prong collar. This is because they don’t know the proper use of prong collars.
You will find many trainers who will tell you that it is the most humane way to control your puppy. It is just that some people do not want to understand how it works. Using a prong collar is one of the best ways to train any dog.
Do not be scared by the actions of irresponsible people.
You may have even heard prong collars harm and injure dogs. And you may find some dog’s necks torn by prong collars. This is mainly because many irresponsible dog owners tie their dogs outside wearing prong collars. If you tie your dog 24/7, it will result in injury. So just like any other tool, prong collars must be used the right way.
Prong Collar Sizes
There are mainly three-prong sizes available. They are 2.25mm, 3mm, and 4mm.
- 2.25mm Prong. This size is excellent for small pups or may even be used for larger dogs as well. It offers an effective way to communicate using less pressure.
- 3.2mm Prong. This size is suitable for medium to large size dogs having a thick coat. This size is perfect for pups up to 200 lbs.
- 4 mm Prong. This site is mainly for heavy and extremely large dogs. It can be a bit difficult to put on due to its thickness.
So now you may have thought of using a prong collar for your puppy
Prong collars are a life-saver, and we do use them for training our dogs. I am aware of how certain people view a prong collar as. I love my dogs a lot and know that using a prong collar is one of the best ways to train dogs, and it does no harm at all.
When you take your dog for a walk, and if he tries to pull you, I suggest you use a prong collar. Using prong collars has mixed reviews of people. But in my opinion, it is the best way to teach and communicate with your dogs. You just need to fit it correctly.
Prong Collars Are Not Suitable for All Types of Training
Prong collars are a great training tool, but you must use them along with the positive reinforcement technique such as clicker training. Using this technique, you can make your dog learn anything with ease. Your dog should look up to you as its true leader and should not feel stressed and anxious.
Most of the dogs are greatly benefitted from using prong collars along with the positive reinforcement technique. The clicker technique is a great way to train in some circumstances and may not work for others. But a true leader will be able to control the situation and set some rules for the dog. You can use prong collars in a fun way, and a great bond is formed with your dog.
Is a Prong Collar Safe To Use?
There are mixed reviews among people when using prong collars for dogs. But they are often misguided. It is not so. When you use prong collars properly, it does not cause any discomfort or damage to the trachea among dogs.
Many people who own dogs don’t even know how to use a prong collar. And using it in the wrong way damages your dog’s trachea and delicate skin.
Some Alternatives to Prong Collars
These collars use woven materials, mostly nylon, and look similar to flat collars. It is placed under the dog’s jaw. It has some extra fabric at the place where the leash is attached. This type of collar has better control than a flat collar. It does not put a large amount of pressure on your dog’s trachea.
A harness usually covers your dog’s chest and back. You will find a D-ring on the back to clip the leash. It does not apply pressure on the neck.
The more you use a harness, the more your dog will pull. In some harnesses, you will find the leash clipped at the front near the chest of your dog. These are usually known as no-pull harnesses. Some people find using harnesses better than flat collars.
This is a standard type of collar people mostly use. These collars are made of either leather, fabric, or nylon. It is placed flat on the base of your dog’s neck. This type of collar is closed with a metal or has a plastic slide-release buckle.
It may sometimes choke or hurt dogs who pull lit and cause them to discomfort if fitted too tight. When you use a flat collar, make sure you can slip two fingers with ease between your dog’s neck and collar.
Head halter is a type of collar you will mostly find in horses. It is usually tied around the dog’s throat and muzzle. It makes people handle and have better control without putting a lot of strain on the dog’s throat.
Prong Collars Are An Excellent Way To Train Your Pup With Love And Affection
A prong collar is a great tool to train your puppy. Some people use prong collars for four-month-old puppies as well and do not find any harm. Just remember to have a fingertip control. When you use it in puppies, make sure to keep corrections little and praise your dog more.
Make sure you know how to fit it properly. You should give it a chance and see what difference it makes between you and your dog. Overall it is safe, effective, and will allow your puppies to enjoy life more. Training your puppy with a prong collar would be a fun experience and will strengthen the bond you have with them.